Modular drilling system

Modular drilling system

February 19, 2018

Kennametal Inc.

Kennametal engineers took the strength and versatility of its KSEM modular drill system and combined it with the ease of use and low feed forces of its smaller companion drill, KenTIP. The resulting fusion of these holemaking technologies is the KenTIP FS, a 6mm to 26mm, 1.5x to 12x D modular drill that’s simple to use, produces good hole quality, and is tough enough to compete with solid carbide drills across a wide range of materials.

The KenTIP FS modular drilling system has a full solid carbide front, enabling it to withstand more heat and abuse than competing modular drill technologies

At first glance, the KenTIP FS appears to be like any other replaceable tip drill, with a disposable carbide insert, coolant through the tool, and a helical flute for efficient chip removal. The similarities end there, however. The KenTIP FS has a radically new design, one that incorporates a number of important features that separate it from the me too modular drilling crowd.

Flutes are smooth and shiny, highly polished after final machining – a process Kennametal engineers have found greatly improves chip evacuation and reduces wash out near the tip. KenTIP FS has four coolant holes – two at the tip and two in the chip gullet directly behind the head. This multicoolant approach provides greater coolant volume to prevent chip packing while simultaneously drawing heat away from the cutting zone, prolonging tool life, and improving hole quality.

The HPG geometry is available in a highly wear resistant carbide grade, KCP15A. Its newly-designed point angle and self-piloting chisel edge offers positioning accuracy and hole straightness, even under high feed rates. The insert corners are protected with small chamfers to reduce chipping, and the margins are similarly reinforced, making the HPG geometry suitable for the cross holes and inclined exits.

If the world drilled only steel, HPG geometry inserts might be sufficient, but the medical industry needs specialty alloys and the aerospace industry needs stainless steels and super alloys, while automotive manufacturers make extensive use of cast iron. For the former, Kennametal offers the HPL geometry, which has a split point designed to reduce cutting forces and break up long-chipping medical and aerospace alloys. Like the HPG geometry, it too is available in a new grade, in this case KCMS15, a wear-resistant, fine-grain carbide with an anti-adhesive AlTiN coating that extends tool life. And for cast, ductile, and compacted graphite irons, the HPC geometry offers four margin lands and a radiused point that eliminates the exit chipping and cracking common with these materials, with a specially-designed chip gash that clears chips quickly in combination with the front coolant exits. All three insert styles have 143° points, and specially-prepared, polished or honed edges for maximum tool life.

KenTIP FS’ biggest differentiator isn’t its coolant delivery system, the new grades of carbide, its polished flutes, or tip designs – it’s the mounting interface. KenTIP FS has the insert security of the larger KSEM and KSEM Plus drills, but uses a quick-release mechanism similar to the one KenTIP users are familiar with – just clean the pocket with an air blast, set the insert in place, and give it a slight twist, then secure it with the supplied smart wrench. KenTIP FS has a patented taper interface that provides maximum rigidity and accuracy. Its retention lock eliminates pullout, and its large bearing surface is able to withstand extreme torsional loads without pocket deformation. The full solid carbide insert has no mounting screw so there’s no risk of damage to the clamping mechanism from chip or workpiece contact.

KenTIP FS is a sustainable solution. There’s no need for reconditioning as there is with solid carbide and many modular drills. Use the insert to its fullest capability, replace it with a fresh tool, and get money back when you recycle the old one using the Kennametal recycling service. There’s none of the offset adjustments as there is with re-sharpened tools, or worry about how a used drill will perform compared to a new one. Tool life and production throughput are therefore more predictable. And since the merry-go-round of drills out for grinding is now eliminated (never mind the fact that inserts are much less expensive than solid carbide drills), tooling costs are substantially reduced.